Monday, August 15, 2005

VJ celebrations

These were sadly lacking in Hampshire as the County had decided to amalgamate VE and VJ celebrations - as per Government wisdom. It was a different matter in Southampton and yesterday there was a special service (held outside the Civic Centre) in honour of VJ day and to award the Freedom of the City to Burma Star Association and the Normandy Veterans.

The service was graced by the presence of Mary Fagin (Lord Lieutenant) who was very exercised by the fact that there were a large number of veterans standing on parade in the noonday sun. In the end she need hardly have worried as the veterans stood up to the conditions well but the younger cadets and soldiers were falling like flies. Hopefully none of them have suffered any ill effects but I was pleased that Southampton had chosen to celebrate the occasion.

That wasn't the end of things as today there was a special lunch - held on board Queen Mary 2 to celebrate the givings of the Freedom of the City. In case you are wondering what the link is I should just point out that the Freedom of the City was also given to the Captain and Crew of the QM2. High spot of the day was when two thirds of the way through lunch we all went on deck to watch a spitfire fly past. Quite an emotional moment and one that will live in the memory.